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More Shelling Incidents At Eastern Ukraine Water Facility

DONETSK, Ukraine

Eastern Ukraine utility Voda Donbasa (VD) has informed the WASH Cluster in the country of two incidents of violence which affected the beleaguered Donetsk Filter Station (DFS) over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday July 13-14.

There was small arms fire very close to DFS July 13, which started at 09:30 pm. One hour later shelling started at the same location (at 10.35 pm) lasting for one hour.

On July 14 there was again shelling so close to the Donetsk Filter Station that staff of the filter station took cover in the onsite bomb shelter starting at 05.45 am and finishing at 06.30.

Donetsk Filter Station supplies water to settlements on both sides of the line of contact: Avdiivka, Kruta Balka, Vasylivka, Verkhniotoretske and western areas of Donetsk city.

Separately, it has been reported that Russia is actively lobbying for the restoration of water supplies to Russia-occupied Crimea using the North-Crimean Canal.

"A special operation by Russia's special services to force Ukraine to resume water supplies is in progress," Ukraine news outlet Information Resistance (IR) reported July 10.

“The reported quoted statements made by the Russia-occupied Crimea's State Committee on Water Management and Land Reclamation head Igor Vail, who was quoted as saying, water supplies are sufficient for the needs of the peninsula's population and tourists”. (IR)

"There are 1,657 waterways, rivers, streams, about 300 lakes on the peninsula. The only serious problem is that they are unevenly located, with few in on the peninsula's northern and eastern sections," Vail was quoted as saying.

Since the beginning of this year, fighting in the conflict-affected areas has damaged water and sanitation facilities 58 times. Nine water workers have been killed and 26 injured since the conflict began, including three this year.

“When access is cut or reduced, children and their families often have no choice but to rely on contaminated water and unsafe sanitation – this is particularly dangerous during the stifling summer temperatures we have seen recently,” UNICEF Ukraine Deputy Representative Laura Bill said July 4. “This past April, there was an outbreak of gastroenteritis within days of a water stoppage – unless we see an end to the hostilities more children will continue to suffer.”

Background Reading

“Water and Violence: Ukraine”, released February 2019:

Strategic Foresight Group’s “Water and Violence: Ukraine” (February 2019) examines the prospects of securing critical water infrastructure in Donbass? What can be done by the relevant actors and the international community?